Altars: God's Preferred Place of Provision

Simple reflection this morning from my hotel room in Dubai.

Have been praying for God's provision and thinking much about his identity as Yahweh Yireh (popularly mispronounced as "Jehovah Jireh"), the God who Provides.

It occured to me as I recently worshipped at Joy Ministries International in Chicagoland (new church plant in our family led by Davies Lombe of Zambia), that Abraham didn't recognize God as Provider until he had abandoned all of his various "Plan Bs".

And then this morning I realized further that actually Isaac wasn't a Plan B. He was Plan A.  So, Abraham had to abandon all his back up plans and also put the divinely revealed plan -- Plan A -- on the altar.  And then ... God provided.

Perhaps you haven't read the story. It's Genesis 22 in the Bible.  Here's the point that is sitting on my chest today as I await my flight.

God provides on altars.

We get all our stuff on the altar -- that means surrender and sacrifice and really abandoning all contingency plans.  And then God lays his provision on the altar.

Sorry, I don't claim to understand this yet.  But, something tells me that I'm going to before too long.


Another Light [Featuring Guest Blogger, Hannah Lorance]

(The following was just sent to me in an email from my daughter, Hannah. It's lovely. I'm biased. Oh ... and she doesn't drive, she's 10.)

Purple and pink clouds bruise the blue sky at sunset. I am driving through the dark street. All at once it is lit up! Lights are everywhere. That's because the city I'm in is never completly dark. I know this is true beacause I'm in Aurora. Aurora is the city of lights. But there is another light in the sky, bigger and brighter than any other. But few people see it. This is because few people believe. God is that light.


Hee-hee, love you.


A Long-learned Lesson

I've been steeped in busyness since Christmas and haven't had time to blog.

Spending a lot of my time these days in fundraising and grant writing as well as trying to make business deals that will result in increased revenue for the work to which God has called us.  Mission is not what I once dreamed it would be.  It's better and it's worse.

It has been now 18 years since I first took a position as Youth and Music Director at tiny Northside Baptist Church in Blanchard, Oklahoma. For the longest time, I did ministry on fumes -- financially speaking.  It was always "for the Lord" and most of the Church seemed very eager for me to contribute my service for pennies or less.

I guess it was one of the hardest lessons for me to learn that if mission and ministry is going to make a long-term impact, it must be sustainable.  It is right for Kingdom workers to expect to be compensated for their labor.  It is wrong for Christians to withhold that payment -- it's actually a kind of theft.

So, I find myself now working out this new paradigm.  I have little choice.  Having recently resigned from denominational work (and it's small but steady paycheck), this new adventure really has to work.

If it does, of course, it will literally change the world.  And that's all I want.

Thy Kingdom come, Lord!